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Monday, November 20, 2023
Mount Brew - Roe Creek Trail, October 2022
There are a couple of peaks named Mount Brew in SWBC, the more conspicuous one located near the town of Lillooet. This is not that one. This Brew is the subalpine bump located near Whistler, BC nestled among a group of peaks known for their adult beverage-inspired names: Gin, Tonic, Brew, Keg and Brandywine. It is commonly the final summit bagged on the increasingly popular "Alcoholic Traverse", which links most of these peaks in a U-shaped trek overlooking the headwaters of Brandywine Creek. The summit is a short jaunt from the aptly named Brew Hut, a popular destination in summer and in winter as an overnight stay for ski tourers. With unseasonably warm and dry weather stretching into October this year, I drove to the Roe Creek FSR washout and set out on foot for a mellow day hike to explore Brew and its surroundings.
I debated driving through the washout as it didn't look too bad, but glad I parked where I did as the water bars beyond were quite large and seemed to require a departure angle greater than what my truck has. Either way, it's only about 2 kilometers to the barricaded R200 spur that leads up to the Roe Creek Trailhead. Trail starts through an old cut block and then heads into the trees before reaching meadows and finally Brew Lake in about 4.5 kilometers. Turned left up the trail towards a wide talus bowl containing another smaller lake. Then up to a saddle at right reaching the Brew Hut a short distance beyond, about 2 km from Brew Lake. Summit of Brew is under a half kilometer as the crow flies from here and a logical choice for those seeking to bag a peak while in the area. A bit of jungle gym action through the dense evergreens lower down followed by a short walk to the summit proper. Enjoyed superb autumnal views both near and far - Mount Fee to the northwest, north to Brandywine and Rainbow, northeast to Currie and Weart, west to Cypress and Tricouni, southeast to Black Tusk, Castle Towers, and the glaciers beyond. Marvelous! Higher Keg Peak is nearby and makes for an easy add-on before heading back.
Bottom line, Brew and/or Keg are fine Autumn objectives without the need for driving very far or having to put in much work in getting there. Low effort: High reward as they say!
Green Mountain - Green Mountain Trail (+Pk.2200), September 2022
With Plan A stymied once again, this time due to active weekday logging, I was at a loss coming up with a suitable Plan B. I usually come prepared, but not this time unfortunately. I'd already been up many of the "obvious" peaks in the Goldbridge/Bralorne area and up/down the Hurley and didn't fancy a repeat. But then I remembered seeing a sign on the side of the road a few kms south of the Ault Creek FSR turnoff that reads simply Green Mountain. I'm not normally much for exploratory hiking, and we had no information or the means by which to obtain it but figured what the heck, something to do.
Up the FSR a short way and parked at the first fork if for no other reason than not wanting to push my luck with the CEL that came back on earlier that morning. Chose the right fork as it seemed to go in the correct direction. Up the FSR we go, staying right again at two subsequent forks - one of Kevin's GPS apps had a trail overlying the topo, so that helped with our choices. Followed the old road to a large talus bowl on Green's NE Face then finally up onto the East Ridge whereupon we located a fire lookout. Road continued up a bit further before petering out just before the summit. Excellent views in all directions, the reservoirs to the north and east, Dickson, Sloan, Truax and others, south down the Hurley. Still had time to burn and noticed a peak (Pk. 2200) on the connecting ridge that appeared higher, so went off to tag it. Glad we did as there's an outstanding view from there overlooking Ault Lake with Mount Land just beyond. We were quite satisfied with this and ourselves for having somehow salvaged the day.
Anyway, not a destination hike per se but like with Penrose, this is a good "rest day" option for rounding out the weekend after bagging one or more of the bigger objectives in the area. We'll be back for Truax, I promise!
The runt of the litter! By litter, I'm referring to the Cheam Range with Conway Peak being a mere bump on the continuation of Foley Peak's Northeast Ridge - the last major summit at the east end of the range. That said, Conway offers what may be the best perspective of these mountains. From nowhere else that I have been can one get as up close and personal with the north-facing glaciers and precipitous rock faces than from here. A trip up the "runt" is worth it for this view alone!
The trailhead is accessed via Jones Lake FSR, its namesake offering up fine views of the Cheam Range from the lakeshore. Could do without abandoned homeless encampments and piles of garbage strewn everywhere along the FSR, but then this seems to be the norm out here these days. Left at a fork and continued for a bit before stopping when the road became a bit more overgrown and rougher for my liking. Could have continued to the driveable end, but thought I'd give the ol' Frontier a break for a change and decided to hoof it the rest of the way. Soon reached the parking area before a large washout, noting a firepit in the middle of the road there with drug use paraphernalia within - syringes, bits of foil etc. Quaint.
Continued up the old road past the washout making a couple switchbacks before continuing via the Lucky Four Mine Trail. Trail climbs up steeply before turning right and making a gradual ascending traverse to the south. A good drenching the night before left the rooted and rocky trail quite slick until reaching the alpine where the sun had thankfully begun drying things out. Heather then gave way to polished slabs just below the ridge crest, where the occasional cairn and/or flagging guides one up to a saddle. Turning left, a worn path winds between boulders and stunted trees to the highpoint a short distance beyond. Enjoyed smoky views to the south of the "Chilliwacks" and beyond to beautiful Mount Shuksan and Baker. Views considerably less smoky to the north looking over Jones Lake with Harrison Lake and the elusive Mount Breakenridge off in the distance. Gotta get up that one of these days! As mentioned, all the major Cheam Range peaks are visible from here save for Knight Peak of which just a sliver of the North Ridge is showing. Silvertip and company dominates the view to the east and completes what is an unexpectedly visually pleasing 360 panorama for an otherwise unremarkable peak!